Now that autumn is upon us, I am getting my house ready for the wintertime by going through absolutely everything we own.  I love fall cleaning because it signals that "winter is coming" (those quotation marks are for all of you Game of Thrones fans) and it ushers in a feeling of coziness, thinking of my family being nestled in a warm house while freezing winds swirl outside. 

To preface the story I am about to tell, you must understand that my husband has a shoe and clothing addiction.  No...I don't think you understand.  Right now, sitting in our closet, are over 40 pairs of his shoes and more clothes than I will probably own in my entire lifetime.  To his credit, I must say that he takes very good care of what he owns; so this is actually a lifetime collection of clothes and shoes, not from an ongoing shopping habit.  Therefore, he should probably be characterized as a hoarder, not an addict.  But I digress...

While doing my twice-yearly switch of our clothes (from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter and vice versa), I always pull out clothes to be donated that we do not wear anymore.  In addition, there are always some clothes that are so worn out, faded, stained, torn, etc. that they just have to be discarded because they aren't good enough for anyone to wear anymore.  I came across one such shirt in my husband's dresser drawer, so I asked him if I could throw it out. 

Now imagine in your mind's eye a white t-shirt with a faded black skull design and huge red stain on the front of it, holes randomly throughout it, and it being about two sizes too small for the wearer.  That is the shirt I wanted to get rid of, but my husband said "no."  Well, I just couldn't imagine him actually wearing this shirt outside of our house anymore so I said I would buy him a better shirt that he could wear out in public.  He still said "no."  Then I thought maybe this was his most comfortable around-the-house shirt, so I offered to buy him an around-the-house shirt that would be a better fit and ultimately more comfortable for him.  Once again, he said "no."  Finally, I got so fed up with him wanting to keep this atrocity of a shirt that I asked him why he wouldn't let me get rid of it.  His answer?  "Because that's the first present you ever gave me.  It's my favorite shirt and I'm not getting rid of it."

I was speechless.  I had given him that shirt over 10 years prior and honestly hadn't even remembered that I was the one who had given it to him.  As I quietly put that ugly shirt back into his dresser drawer, I thought about how people can view the exact same thing but have different perspectives on it.  I saw that shirt as ugly and useless while my husband saw it as a token of my love for him.  Now every time I see that shirt I am reminded of how much my husband treasures it...and it makes me smile.

"Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." -Wayne W. Dyer